Wednesday, February 28, 2007

S.P. News/Sick

This is a good cover.

I'm sick, ladies, and by sick I don't mean sweet or cool or chicken salad. I mean I'm under the weather. This is an extremely inopportune time for me to be bedridden, so I've been strolling around infecting the unsuspecting masses with whatever it is that's ailing me. I am accepting get well cards, money, and leek soup, because like Ghostface, I eat that.

Remember when I told you to download Chrome Children Vol. 2 for free from Stones Throw & Adult Swim? Remember when you didn't do like I asked you to? That hurt my feelings, and now it's too late to make it better because Adult Swim took that shit down. Here's a chance to redeem yourself: Definitive Jux records, who release El-P, Cannibal Ox, Cage, Aesop Rock, etc. (apparently someone named Despot) have collabo-ed with the illest cartoonists in the game to bring you Definitive Swim. IT IS FREE AND THERE IS A SONG ON IT CALLED "GET RICH OR TRY DYING" AND IT IS AVAILABLE HERE.

Amon Tobin is a pretty cool musician. He just dropped a new album (I think just in the U.K. It doesn't drop here til later in March or April) last week that's called The Foley Room. He's used a bunch of collected, found sounds to make the record, which is more than you can say about your latest album. Anyway, it's supposed to have a DVD documentary coming out with it or after it or SOMETHING because here's a couple of video trailers for it: #1 and #2.

The Clipse just kicked off their tour last night, in Cambridge, MA, which everyone knows is the gulliest place to start a tour EVER. Malice & Pusha T are keeping it real hood this time around, playing shows in Wyoming, Utah, but not in New York, because they know like SP knows that Wyoming is a thousand times more gangsta than NYC.

I'm going back to sleep. Soup-ladies, you know where to find me.

FMT Matchmaker: Capo Status & New York

The director of A&R at Warner Music Group puzzles over the contradiction in terms that is Pink Pinot Grigio

Jim Jones is a generally crap rapper, but I don't think that's ever been in contention. He's built a career on his proximity to Cam'ron, constant and unabashed co-opting of Dirty South beats and conventions, and a furiously maintained presence in mainstream and underground hip-hop media. He's not to be confused with Jim Jones the cult leader, who, along with 913 of his brainwashed devotees, committed suicide in 1978, two years after the birth of Joseph Jimmy Guillermo Jones III, a.k.a. Capo Status, a.k.a. the subject of this post. JJGJ III embraces confrontation and the opportunity it affords him to push himself further and further into the limelight cast by the hype of rap beef. As of this post, he is blissfully engaged in track- and video-propagated conflict with Jay-Z, Tru Life, and 50 Cent. I don't care much for Tru Life (matter of fact, he annoys the shit out of me), but he's a better rapper than Jim, and Jay-Z and 50 Cent are in a class of artist that Jimmy Blanco can only hope to be counted part of.

Jimmy's "We Fly High (Ballin'!)" was one of the biggest hip-hop records of 2006, and one of the very few that achieved any kind of popular success outside of BET's Rap City (not Tha Bassment, because Tha Bassment is dead) or Most people probably got wasted at one point (or five) or another and did the "Ballin'!" dance and screamed it to the heavens. That was awkward. That was over. A while ago.

Jim never had a big record before that. I made the mistake of buying his 2004 On My Way to Church, and besides "Crunk Muzik" and some song he had with T.I. and Bun B, it was really bad. I don't remember the name of his second album off the top of my head, but it was the one with "Summer With Miami" and that song "Baby Girl" through which we were all introduced to random Jim affiliate Max B, who may be the worst singer/rapper/asshole of all time. Last year, Jones scored something of a hit with "We Fly High" and the album it's on, Hustler's P.O.M.E., both of which came out on Koch Records, a label that, allegedly, actually pays its artists pretty well. The LP is headed for gold, so Jim is making money, which means you can't hate on him, blah blah fucking blah -- that's exactly the sort of irresponsible attitude towards hip-hop as art that allows Jim to thrive.

Now that the relevance of "We Fly High" has faded away almost completely, Jim has spent more time posturing and talking shit than ever before, on the radio and on hip-hop DVDs (that I don't think anyone actually buys because you can watch the shit for free on Youtube/Onsmash). Jim knows that if he can continue to cultivate his tough guy (in tight t-shirts) image, a great part of the hip-hop community will be impressed enough by how "real" they're convinced he is and won't be discouraged by the fact that he sucks. They'll cheerily declare how "Ballin'!" they are til the end of their days, which will probably be long after rap is dead, but then as long as we're getting money (or claiming to), who cares, no?

Flavor of Love was a marginally entertaining, fairly unpleasant reality television program. Most of the people who saw that show probably don't know what Public Enemy is, and if they did they probably wouldn't care for P.E. because that shit does not make for good pop music. Flav was probably short on cash, and there's always a bevy of eager actress/model wannabes who are perfectly happy to pursue fame through the medium of reality TV. Flav's new reality TV career was going swimmingly, as he'd just spent some time masquerading himself and being publicly mocked for it on VH1's groundbreaking The Surreal Life. Some savvy TV execs and an eager-to-cheese Flav came together for Flavor of Love, and the show was a huge hit.

Inevitably, Flavor of Love's contestants, who were ostensibly vying for Flav's love, affection, and hand in marriage, were nothing but a bunch of posturing camera whores. They participated in the show in order to make themselves visible, and Flav (not sure he wasn't in on the joke) would occasionally lambast a soon-to-be-eliminated suitress for "being at the mansion for their career, and not for Flav." Whenever this happened, it was ironic and sort of depressing.

Tiffany Pollard a.k.a. Tiffany Patterson a.k.a. New York established herself as the star of Flavor of Love by her unmatched enthusiasm and the passionate animosity that the rest of the girls felt towards her. She claimed throughout to be the only woman on the show that really cared for Flav, and, at times, she was believable; her ardent professions of love for her man, along with her unbridled malevolence for her rivals, lent credence to her claims. After losing out in the finals of Season One to Hoopz (who dropped Flav like a washed-up hypeman after the show concluded), New York returned for Season Two, first as a surprise guest and then as a contestant once more. Again she made it to the finals, and again she was passed up by M. Flav, this time for a woman with one of the more ghastly mugs ever to sully my television screen.

Where New York failed to nose out Deelishis for the dubious distinction of the victor of Flavor of Love, she hit pay-dirt when VH1 signed on for a season of I Love New York, a show that identical to FOL in all ways save one. New York is the champion and prize, and the contestants are men, failed and aspiring entertainers who have chosen to drag their impotent careers through the mud in order to get some camera time. I Love New York is a really terrible show; where Flav played the older, seasoned entertainer who had at least something of a career to hold over the women vying for his amore, New York plays the exact same preening, malevolent character she played on FOL. It's her awful mother (who apparently teaches at Syracuse University or something weird like that) that steals the show this time around, polluting the screen with her visage and her ill will. Flavor of Love had one wobbly leg to stand on in that Flavor Flav was a celebrity (if B- or C-list); I Love New York has nothing but train-wreck appeal.

Is that a Spice Girl?

SP thinks that Joseph Jimmy Guillermo Jones III and Tiffany Pollard are perfectly suited for each other, and in this, the first installment of FMT Matchmaker, I'd like to propose that they propose to one another and have lots of awful, fame-grubbing kids with which to populate the world. Both will stop at nothing to keep themselves in the spotlight, and neither has anything in the way of legitimate talent, unless the ability to make oneself -- and remain -- sort of famous is a talent. I predict that "Ballin'!" and its awful remix are the only hits that Jim Jones will ever have, and that Hustler's P.O.M.E. will be the last record he puts out that sells more copies than FMT gets hits in a day. Finally, I foresee that on I Love New York season 3, your boy Capo Status will be among the contestants, along with Tru-Life and maybe Young Hot Rod. Capo will win, Hot Rod will go back to his banking job in Arizona, and Tru-Life will keep making mixtapes until he goes hoarse. Capo and Tiff will get married, and I Love New York season 3 will be hailed as the reality TV show that brought something more than pure narcisissm and flagrant self-promotion to our television screens: it will bring said qualities, each personified in New York and Jim Jones respectively, together, so that they will meet, conflagrate, and set off a chain reactions of wack people marrying each other all over the world. The rampant confluence of all the worst human traits will be too much for the balance of flyness and wackness that the atmosphere currently maintains, and the earth will eat itself. Don't say we didn't warn you.

The inspiration for this post came from the undeniable similarity in mannerisms that these two miserable human beings share. Observe the way Capo & New York speak loftily of their personal traits and trappings of their moderate success, and giggle and stuff. Both idiots attempt to assert, with every sentence that comes out of their mouths, the "obvious" fact that they're superior creatures:

Jim Jones on Rap City

New York on Jimmy Kimmel

FREE DESSERT: Crazy timing; this just popped up on Apparently some people think FOL and ILNY are worse than just shitty television. Eskay, you read my mind.

Premo Reverse DJs Brooklyn

They opened Marsellus Wallace's suitcase and then poured cocaine on it

Gang Starr - "Flip the Script"

Last Thursday, DJ Premier spun (I feel strange using this term, maybe because I've never actually gone anywhere for the purpose of seeing a DJ) some records at the bar in my building, Sputnik. FYI, Sputnik is probably the best bar in NYC, and this only has a little to do with the fact that I can get there in a hop and a skip, and a lot to do with the portrait of Czar Nicolas on the bathroom door and the always stellar, mostly hip hop DJs there (who aren't superproducers). Anyway, Premo was there for this "Brooklyn Next" event, which also included an art show and this band Pagoda, which features the actor Michael Pitt, of The Dreamers fame, on guitar, vocals and hair-in-face postures.

This Pitt guy has a constantly pouting mouth and he was dressed like he was doing an impression of Curt Cobain, which is funny because he played a Cobain-like character in Gus Van Sant's movie Last Days. His band is on Thurston Moore's label, and their website features a note by Moore concerning how and why they are the shit. Too bad they kinda suck. They do, however, have a nasty cello player (cellist), who was encircled in pedals. After the show, my brother-in-law ordered a shot of tequila for the guy, on me, just because he played the cello. I told him he was the J. Mascis of the cello. Unfortunately for him, he didn't know who J. Mascis was.

Premo is 40 years old. He produces records for Xtina and, according to Nas, would've produced all of Hip Hop is Dead had he been able to clear his schedule. So I have no idea why he is actually DJing at a bar in Brooklyn. Apparently the owner of the bar saved his life once, or something. I dunno. Anyway, he was there, not terrifically late, and he played some motherfucking records for people to dance to and rap along to. I was drunk and it was fun.

He did a little James Brown tribute to open his set, which is always good, and better than Allyiah (whose name should be in spelling bees) or Left-Eye (who somehow managed to marry Ardre Risen after burning down his house) tributes. Then he basically just played all the biggest tracks he produced, doing some DJ stuff in between, but mostly just playing his songs and shouting out Brooklyn and Brooklyn rappers who are either dead (Biggie), less famous than him (Guru), or more famous than him (Jay-Z). People bugged out a little and there were a bunch of dudes in front of the DJ booth who rapped along to every song in a trance. I was mostly just struck by the odd nature of this situation.

DJing is a lost art. Turntablists are basically only known to other turntablists, aka irrelevant. The only DJs that are still relevant aren't DJs at all anymore, but producers. (Imagine if Quincy Jones played solo piano at a Bar, that's what this felt like) Big name producers don't go on tour with rappers anymore. 9th Wonder used to DJ for Little Brother, which meant that he produced them and DJed with them on the road. then he realized he could make a bunch of loot producing records for more commercially viable rappers and riding around in vans with Phonte. Now he's not even part of the group and when he makes a record with a quasi-underground rapper like Murs, he gets equal billing. The whole point of the DJ, as a precursor to the producer, was to play records that he didn't make, mix them together, and create a beat. Premo, however, just played songs he had made and let people applaud him. Luckily he's one of the greatest producers in the history of hip-hop; as in, without him, hip hop would be completely different. Along with RZA, Large Professor, Pete Rock et al, he literally created the sound of 90s hip hop. And now he's teaming up with Xtina and making some some pop records that stand up with anything Timbo is doing in that same genre.

When he got into his Gang Starr material, which was around 2 or so (he started at 12:30 or so), the crowd thinned out and a bunch of people left. This makes sense. Guru is not very famous.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Intractable and Adamantine

If you haven't already checked out Ruined Music, please do so. The site is the unequivocal gem-like flame. They publish stories about music being killed by people, places, or things. Written under one of my noms de plume, my tale of the slaying of Ghostface's Supreme Clientele is up there on this fine day, so check that out. For you people who were directed here from that site, sorry, you have once again witnessed the circularity of the internet. Whoops.

Also, here's my favorite track from that album, with the infamous Ted Koppel name-drop.

Ghostface Killah - "Mighty Healthy"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fuck Busta Rhymes

Last night a documentary called "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes" aired on PBS. It was a fairly interesting little doc, although the issues covered haven't exactly been ignored. You know, rap music, guns, hoes, videos, making society kill itself by the same means, etc. This part was not interesting. Also the guy who made the movie felt is was nessesary to include footage of himself playing high school football, and talking to high school kids about being good people and stuff. So yeah, not a very good film, but it had a couple of really interesting moments.

First, Michael Eric Dyson can spit darts. And when I say spit darts I mean say things things that are intelligent, barbed and delivered in a convincing manner, and also wear crooked glasses. Plus he's down with Killer Mike. Or Killer Mike is down with him. Either way.

Second, the part about homoeroticism in hip hop was funny and interesting. The filmmaker went to the BET "Spring Bling" thing, which seemed to mostly consist of guys lifting up the skirts of girls so that they could get a good angle with their cameras for anatomical study. This was pretty cool and scrupulous. There were some cross-dressers there, and the director asked them what they thought about homophobia in hip hop. One of them said he/she was turned on by it because it was so aggressive. That may have had something to do with a history of abuse. Adam Corolla would know. Then they said that they got the most attention from the guys at the BET thing who were the most thuggish/ruggish/bone. Dyson riffs about how rap is just suffused by signs of a latent homoeroticism, how the misogyny is not just demeaning the sexuality of women, but demeaning the sexuality of women not just for the freedom of ones' own rocks, but also those of "one's boys." It's like this brotherly cirle-jerk by way of objectification of female sexuality. I'm sure he's written a paper about this which cites Gramsci, Foucault, and Snoop. There were some LL Cool J videos, shown during a part when a gay rapper (about to blow up, forget his name) says something like "when LL Cool J is in his video, all greased up, shirtless, licking his lips under a waterfall, its not just girls watching that and buyin the record. Its guys too. And not just gay guys." Then there was all this stuff about 50 and Nelly on magazine covers with their shirts off, Game's pants saggin (he sags em more than most, I mean, they are just above his knees) and Dyson talking about the prison culture and how it obviously imfulenced hip hop style. The interesting thing here is that all this shit is somehow interpreted by dudes as really hard shit, despite the fact that it is actually very gay. So it's like, well, if he crosses his legs, that's gay, but if he's greased up, under a waterfall and licking his lips, that's okay, cuz it reflects his pimphood and pimphood is a sign that he's also willing to shoot someone in the face for no reason.

Third, (and I'm sure at this point you have forgotten that I was goin with the tripartite format, but fuck it, I do work) Busta Rhymes played himself harder than he has already played himself, which I though was impossible. The filmmaker is hanging with Busta, Mos Def, Talib and that hippie rap band, De La Soul. He starts asking about homophobia in rap, and Busta gets up from his chair, looks scared as hell and says "yo I can't even talk to you about that" and starts to leave. The guy's like "Why not?" and Busta says "yo, you know, the culture that I come from...uh...I can't...I can't answer questions about just not accepting of that thing..." and then he just gets up and leaves. Like a Gump. I'm not sure who's worse, Busta or Tim Hardaway. At least Tim Hardaway came out and said it. Wait, that's not true. Hardaway is a raging ignoramus. But Busta wasn't even man enough to address the issue.

This guy is probably the biggest asshole in music, or maybe the world. He hasn't done anything worth a shit since his verse in "Scenario." Maybe I'll give him "Woo-Ha" and a couple others, but lately this guy has precipitated unbridled fury within my soul. One of his bodyguards is shot on set a video shoot and because he's so hard he holds it down for the streets, because you gotta make sure everybody knows that you're a thug, even if that means that your dead bodyguard's family doesn't get to see the shooter in jail. Then at the beginning of the video (which was for a shit song in the first place) he does one of those really heartfelt thug tributes (after all hip hop is all about death, couldn't survive without it). Wow, that's real justice for you. An introduction to a video, which gets cut off anyway. Next he goes around brawlin' in Manhattan and gets off scot free .

Busta, you're approximately 45 years old. You don't need to hold down the blatant homophobia and snitch prevention, the two forces of cohesion that keeps the streets they can buy you shit records. Maybe you should use those dollars you have to buy a moral compass and a couple of stones. You can get former at any Eastern Mountain Sports and the latter from any gardening supply store in Connecticut or wherever the fuck you live. Once again, fuck you Busta Rhymes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When I Say "Porn," Y'all Say "Porn"

One of Furman's belated, sorely missed ancestors. Pour out a lil Jame-o.

SP gets fed up with things a lot, and, in all fairness, it's more than a bit immature. Lately, Ive been feeling let down by rapping artists and the bloggartz that report on their every bowel movement (that is, the rappers' feculence. some bloggartz report on their own as well.), and my faith in rap in general has been tested a great deal. Furman's most recent post displayed the sort of head-down-eyes-forward dedication to the sort of eff-the-heifers-lets-just-listen-to-music attitude that is so crucial in times like these. We've spent too much time nursing our wounds from the 4th-quarter '06 coke-rap freezerburn; forward progress is what's needed now.
What follows are some frenetically assembled pieces of new music that don't suck.

Young Buck's 2004 Straight Outta Cashville was a decent record, and it had a few great tracks, like "Let Me In," "Look At Me Now," and "Shorty Wanna Ride." Buck's and Ludacris's verses on "Stomp" were awesome. Game's was not. Cashville also had a couple of hilariously strange moments, like when Tony Yayo (I think this was the first major release he appeared on after he getting out of jail and, going back in 24 hours later, and then getting out again) raps about having tanks of LSD in his van. This is (not) psychedelic rap. Anyway, Buck the World, dude's sophomore effort, is supposed to come out on March 20th, and it looks set to break G-Unit's recent string of hopeless releases (Blood Money, Rotten Apple), if the strength of the first two singles ("I Know You Want Me," "Get Buck") is any indication. I don't know how much creative control Buck has over his records, but someone's making great decisions with regard to beats, songwriting, and video direction, and I have a hard time believing it's the same people who called the shots here.

The G-Unit brand has been stamped on a whole lot of miserable tripe over the last couple of years, and it's befuddling to me that 50 has been willing to put out shitty singles and albums that don't sell (Get Rich or Die Tryin' OST, Olivia, Hot Rod, Banks, Yayo, Mobb Deep, etc.). I'll be surprised if Lloyd Banks, after releasing a couple of the most underwhelming singles of recent memory ("Hands Up","Help"), drops another album this decade. You know it stung when Cam called Cuurtis out for outselling Rotten Apple with Jim Jones's Hustler's P.O.M.E.; Banks's album, and Mobb Deep's before him, were embarrassments, and Cameron's affront to 50's legacy was a wide-open shot. I think 50's Before I Self-Destruct may turn out to be one of the best albums of 2007, and if Buck the World garners the kind of critical and financial success that I think it might, Cuurtis will be left on top of the game once again.

Amy Winehouse, the chick who sings on Ghostface's "You Know I'm No Good" (which is originally her track, in an arrangement that must have resembled Lil Wayne & Robin Thicke's "Shooter"), is FMT's pin-up gal of the week.

The bloggartz have been going crazy over the new Brother Ali album, The Undisputed Truth, for a little while now (featured on Status Ain't Hood, Oh Word), and so I won't say too much on this, except that Ali is a good rapper who brings out great things in Ant, the same producer from whom Slug seems totally incapable of extricating anything remotely tolerable. Ali's from Minneapolis, MN, and when Shadows on the Sun, his critically lauded 2003 debut, was released, I had the good fortune to be living in the Twin Cities area. I think everyone who lived in Minneapolis or St. Paul at the time was required to buy the record, and with good reason -- Ali comes off more sincere and heartfelt (without falling into the whiny, disingenuous vein of labelmates Atmosphere) than any rapper out, then or now. The Undisputed Truth is slated to come out on April 10th, and it's got my vote for independent surprise hit of the year; Ali embodies a lot of the things that people are despairingly looking for in contemporary hip-hop. It doesn't hurt that "Freedom Ain't Free" (right click, save as), B-Side to the LP's first single "Truth Is" (same), is an absolute monster.

Some dark, violent, throwback NYC rap provides a great and necessary foil for Ali and Buck's respective styles: Prodigy of Mobb Deep has been building a huge buzz for his March 27th pre-album mixtape-that-is-also-an-album, Return of the Mac. The first few videos for that album's first few singles have been making the rounds of the internets for quite a while now, and here they are: "Mac 10 Handle" (don't watch if you scare easily), "New York Shit," "Stuck On You." Mobb Deep's last album was pretty awful, but I like Prodigy, and it's impossible not to dig Alchemist's compositions. They're the kind of tracks that feel familiar and frightening, and they're perfect for P. Here's some more audio off the mixtape: "7th Heaven" featuring Un Pacino

More notable effery:

Three 6 Mafia feat Chamillionaire - Dope Boy Fresh
UGK - The Game Belongs To Me
Consequence - Scarred For Life
Strange Fruit Project - Pinball (The Healing was really good)
DJ Kentaro - Free

El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead is due 3/20
Ghostface Killah - Hidden Darts (Special Edition), 2/27. I don't know what this is, but I know some of the tracks. This is annoying. Furman, any insight?


Sordid Puppy

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hey, remember songs?

Sordid Puppy, always on a leash. ps, sweet border.

Here are some potent downloadables:

Dinosaur Jr. - "Been There All the Time" - (from Muzak for Cybernetics)

From the forthcoming Beyond, due in a couple months. The original lineup is back together, and they've recorded a new album so that Lou Barlow's kid can start a college fund. This will probably be one of the few albums I actually buy in 2007. Mascis still just rips the shit out of his Jazzmaster. I know at this point playing a unironic guitar solo is so eleven hundred years ago, but J. is one of the all time greats in any genre, and he doesn't jack off at all, which Neil Young, the guy J. is always compared to because of surface characteristics, did without anyone ever minding too much. That sentence was like a Neil Young solo. The melody is one that could only come from J. and it's solid, as Mascis usually does it. The only problem here is the production. The old D Jr. was so overloaded and tinny, the guitar attack just washed all over the place on the recording, the dynamics would come out of nowhere. This song has the rhythm guitars sounding regular and compressed, as they tend to sound these days. And Barlow's bass, which was as important as the guitars in D Jr., is not as protrusive. Still a banger, maybe I'll feel different after it settles in a little.

Kristin Hersch - "In Shock" - (from Warped Reality interview)

This is the best new song I've heard in 07. This should be a huge hit, but it is unlikely that too many people will care, which is always too bad. Oh well. Hersch, of Throwing Muses fame, is an indie rock goddess, and for good reason--her voice is unmistakably haunting and she could always do that thing called writing great little rock songs. Or big rock songs. From her recently released solo LP, Learn to Sing Like a Star.

R. Kelly feat. TI and T-Pain
- "I'm a Flirt" (from Idolator)

Kells back and he brought the candle guy and the vocoder guy. T-Pain is annoying as fuck at this point, TI doesn't doesn't drop anything too splenderifical, and Kells is still doin that octave-jumping thing, but this song is still great, esp. if it is playing while you are actually flirting with a girl. You can be all Chuck Kaufman and say, "hey this song is about me" and she will say "you can't jump octaves like that" and then you will agree and go back to drinking by yourself.

J Dilla - "This is Dilla's World" and "5/8" - (from Soul Sides)

According to heavyweight blogger Oliver Wang, these are "presumably from the Donuts sessions." Will a good rapper please jump on these, rap well, and then put them back on the internet; doing so will be a better tribute to the late producer than putting a flier on your webpage that makes sure everyone knows you're down with the real studio auteur, even though you probably didn't know who he was until Ghostface was forced to shout him out on MTV by John Norris.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

S.P. News/Happy New Year/FMT Hearts Sex

Love is in the air.

Happy Valentine's Day from Furman P. and S. Puppy. I heard nothing tells a languid canine that you love him like a fresh pair of Nike Vandals, not that you salty bloggartz care. Do something nice for your loved ones today, and do it the FMT way. Men, buy your filly a bottle of wine, maybe some delicates that aren't awfully creepy, and some flowers. Just do it. We know you think that $35.99 Diplo import is supremely thoughtful, but she's never heard of that, and yes, that new Paul Robeson boxed set just screams elegant sophistication, but she's not impressed. Ladies, go easy on the puppy in your life; cop some bottles of Ephemere for your man, make him some vittles, and maybe snatch that The Departed DVD that just dropped yesterday. Giving gifts isn't the easiest thing in life, but keep this in mind: if you would really like it, your better half could probably give two shits that it exists.

Rappers DO NOT heart money: In the latest progression of hip-hop's latest ingenious scheme to keep its artists from making scrill, here's DJ Mick Boogie and Little Brother's And Justus For All (right click, save as), for free, in case you are into that kind of thing. Sort of takes the fun out of illegal downloading, if you ask me.

"Candy is bad for your fangs:" If you're interested in something WAY cooler, and want to talk shit to SP for flagrantly osculating the nether regions of Stones Throw records, download Peanut Butter Wolf's Valentine's Day mix. Then osculate the nether regions of someone you love. Scarlett, Slothra's in the big city, and I dare say, it's better to be Furman's first blonde ex than JT's umpteenth. Call him.

For fuck's sake, people, be good to your family and your loved ones, if only for today. All you chiddlers out there who are someone else's one and only, ackrite, because if you don't, that shit could be bad for their survival. For real.

Love, Foodmantooth.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sway - Flo Fashion

10 red letters in my name, but I doesn't mind. If they phone up, I'll just tell em that I'm colorblind.

Slothra Goes to the PLUG Awards

Fellow blogger from the deep, Speckled Trout (of recent Type Slow fame) and I attended the 10 bones per ticket PLUG awards show, which is the awards show for cool music. I don't know why they give out these awards, what the criteria are, who votes, etc. but the lineup was Malkmus, Deerhoof, El-P (and two other shitty bands that both had guys who played little synths and bobbed their heads vigorously during choruses) and for ten bucks I was there.

David Cross hosted it and did a good job of making fun of how stupid/boring/unnecessary everything in between the performances was. I never understand why people every try to put comedy on a bill that people come to for the music. The last thing anyone wants to hear when they are waiting for a rock band to bring some discomfort are well-written comedy sketches. Also there was this thing called an "iPod battle" which was by far the worst excuse for entertainment this side of that Everybody Loves Fuckbasket spin-off show. Two teams or two people just played songs on their ipods though the PA back and forth and then the crowd was asked who was better. Everybody booed both teams and the next round (yeah apparently it was a preliminary round) was cancelled. Thank God.

First band I could give a fuck about. Deerhoof played about 4 songs. I love this band. They gave the lead singer, who is a tiny japanese woman who sings like one, a birthday cake. That was cute. El-P played two new songs, both of which sounded pretty rich, and got me fired up for his new album. But two songs, goddamn Producto, give the people what they want. He even had a horn section and didn't wear a trucker hat. Whatever, bring on Malkmus. Trout was the most fired up drunk person I have ever seen. He was grabbing random people and screaming in their face, which expanded his personal space considerably.

Oh yeah I saw the bass player from Pavement so I thought there might be some Slanted and Enchanted action (which didn't happen, much to Trout's chagrin) and there was a guy standing behind us who was almost 7 feet tall, so we thought it was Status Ain't Hood. I mean how many seven foot tall people are there period, nonetheless at an indie rock awards show. He claimed he wasn't him, but Trout wasn't convinced. If that was him and he didn't want to be harassed cuz he's a famous blogger, then fuck him. We'll see if there's a post about a screaming drunk kid wearing a brooklyn dodgers hat later.

Silversun Pickups was higher on the bill than 'Hoof and El-P. Fuck that. This kind of middling indie rock band is beyond boring at this point. Cross interviews Malkmus as James Lipton. Kinda funny but hey, again, we're here for guitars. Malk plays new shit, no Pavement. Has a mustache. Trout is pissed. No Pavement. He did play his Yul Brynner song however. Later Trout spends about $89 to download Pavement songs on this jukebox in a bar that did not wake up that day thinking "hey I think I'm gonna play somethin other than Bon Jovi and Europe tonight." Then Trout made the "I slept with your sister, oh not really" joke and almost got punched in the face by this fat Mexican who looked like Alf. Bad night for Trout. It ended with him spreading Nutella on a Tortilla and then not eating it, probably because it looked like poop.

Monday, February 05, 2007

FMT Interviews Grimace

Most people think it is very funny to have the conversation where one talks about Grimace with one’s bros and asks the question, “what the hell is he anyway?” so that one’s bros laugh because no one really knows. One bro will say “an eggplant, definitely an eggplant,” and then another bro will say, “no, you’re wrong he’s an elephant seal,” and then someone will say “he’s Vice President of the United States,” and that person will most likely be a homeless person who sidled up to the conversation unnoticed.

This sort of idle banter ignores the man behind the corpulent, neckless, purple, conical body. And it ignores one of the richest American lives that have been lived since we declared our independence from our oppressors. In terms of said richness, experts have ranked Grimace somewhere between Jack LeLanne and Sidney Portier.

FMT took it upon ourselves to track down Grimace, see what he’s been up to these days, and talk with him about his battles with drug abuse and obesity, his dabblings with high-stakes espionage, and his interest in horses. It took us awhile to find him. The McDonald’s people wouldn’t talk, and the public library was not very helpful, besides a reference librarian who opined “I think he’s a gumdrop,” before we told her that “YOU DON’T KNOW THE MAN! HE IS NOT CANDY!” and shook our fists at her vigorously. “Well,” she said, “it seems like you don’t know him very well either, if you’re at the library trying to find him.” Touché, reference librarian. Touché.

We finally caught up with Grimace at his lakeside cabin in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, where he has been living for over 15 years, occupying himself with vintage coloring books and guide boat refurbishing. During our interview, he wore jean shorts, a tan madras shirt with the sleeves rolled up and Teva’s with socks. His manner was calm throughout, but when recalling certain of his life’s adventures, he smiled brightly and looked up at the roof of his cabin, as if reliving the witness he bore to certain turning points in our great nation’s history.

FMT: You started doing commercials for McDonalds in 1971, and you were originally cast as one of the bad guys, armed with two sets of arms and an insatiable appetite for milkshakes. After that first campaign you were recast as a good guy and Ronald McDonald’s best friend. Were you worried that you’re audience might perceive you as a fickle flip-flopper?

Grimace: No not at all. By the time I got the McDonald’s gig, I was a seasoned actor. I relished my versatility. I could be a leading man, I could be a villain, I could be a purple hill in the backdrop of a quasi-psychedelic children’s show. And I’m not going to lie, it was fun being the guy who could steal many, many milkshakes. It was a thrill, there were girls, there was a lot of fan mail, some of which was accompanied with erotic photos, because, you know, I was the bad guy who didn’t care. I mean, I stared down the consequences of burgling A LOT of milkshakes, like ten at a time, and I didn’t flinch for a second. So yeah that was attractive to the opposite sex.

FMT: Which is…

G: Female.

FMT: So, did you get tired of playing Ronald’s docile buddy?

G: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I missed those days when I was on the run, milkshakes in one hand, bitches on the other three. Like Vishnu if he was a daredevil outlaw pimp. But it was tiring. I could do it because I was young and ambitious. I was really burning the candle at both ends. And coke was just around then. We didn’t know it was bad for you. I thought it was, well maybe not the brother of sugar or flour, but maybe, like, the crazy cousin who was in jail, but not because of an inherently mean spirit—just a incidental misguidance, in the wrong place at the wrong time. So…yeah…what was the question?

FMT: Did you get tired of playing Ronald’s retarded buddy?

G: Oh right. Well no, because I was usually asleep or so fucked up that rabid concubines could’ve been defecating on my face and I wouldn’t have known. I really just phoned it in. It paid the bills and as the company grew, I was able to maintain a exorbitantly prodigious coke habit. But I didn’t really have to do anything. I moved around a little, smiled and grunted a little, but other than that, I didn’t exactly test my virtuosity. And at that point, acting in general was boring me. Brando, myself, James Dean, I really felt that we had exhausted the medium. I didn’t really think there was anywhere else we could go with it. We had literally fucked that dead horse until it was asking us to stop.

FMT: Why literally?

G: Oh I didn’t mean we actually fucked a dead horse until it spoke to us. Just meant that it sorta moved a little and we were pretty excited and I think Jimmy got his hands on some peyote from Dennis Hopper. I don’t really remember it that clearly, but…

FMT: So you suffered from equine necrophilia.

G: Yeah it was hard, you know. But I got help. I struggle with it everyday.

FMT: When was the last time you…

G: Oh I haven’t been inside a dead horse in 10 years.

FMT: So, when acting became boring, what did you do?

G: Well, I had always been quite a B-baller, so I moved to New York and started hustling on the courts of Harlem. I had a tremendous first step, I could really just lacerate the lane, no could mess with me. I had a little hustle I used to do with Kareem, actually. He would dress up as Hitler and challenge the highest rollin’ street ballers in New York to games, five large minimum. It’s funny, they wouldn’t notice he was seven feet tall and one of the best basketball players of all time because they’d just focus on the fact that he was dressed as Hitler. And then he’d double the bet by saying they could pick his teammate. And then I’d walk onto the court looking clueless, and inevitably, they’d say, “Yo, you got the fat, cone-shaped purple guy.” They’d be sorry about that choice, and ten grand in the whole. Kareem and I would be off playing Mancala, waist deep in drug-addled sluts.

FMT: Then where did life take you?

G: I picked up some freelance espionage work, in the early 80s. By this time, Ronald had grown so sick of my disinterest in the whole advertising world that he began using my body double for most of the ads. By 83 or so, my contract ran out and I had little interest in renewing it. We had a good run, Ronnie and I, but I was so beyond acting. Ollie North and I were old buddies from Annapolis, and when he heard that I was done hocking burgers, he called me up and said “hey ‘Ace, I’ve got some work for you if you want it. Might be dangerous, but the Central American poon will be worth it, let me tell you.” Believe it or not, that segment of my belt--the one that was labeled “Central American poon,” was notch-less—I mean, I had every notch there was. Hell, my main belt was festooned with smaller belts for sub notches…

FMT: Like the “dead horse” sub-notch.

G: Right, branching off from the “mammal” notch.

FMT: So, were you involved in the Iran-Contra affair?

G: Is a Nicaraguan whore’s cunt sweeter than honey?

FMT: ...

G: Yeah I learned my tradecraft down there, as the CIA was mustering the Contras. I became a valuable asset to them immediately, as my celebrity status and odd body shape and color came in handy whenever laundering the drug money, moving arms across check points, that sort of thing. The Sandinistas were oblivious hacks really. They just wanted to pet me. We could sneak anything right under their nose as long as I was there. They thought I was from Disney World or something. I could literally snatch documents out of their breast pockets at they stared slack-jawed at my nonpareil aura of glitz and artistic genius.

FMT: But you were never convicted of any crimes?

G: Only by a jury of angels.

FMT: What were you charged with?

G: Being too sexy for the good of Man.